Monday, August 10, 2015

Frequency Manager + Scanner Plugin

The FMSuite Frequency Manager + Scanner is a free plugin designed for use within the SDR# software application.  It delivers a full-featured frequency management tool permitting you to edit and browse frequencies and to scan ranges of frequencies or groups of frequencies that you define.

New features and improvements in this version


Frequency Manager


  • Multiple databases – now you can have separate databases for different kinds of monitoring.  For example, if you would like to import a database of Non-Directional Beacons, you can keep those records separate from your UHF frequencies which are in a different database.  And, you decide where to store the database.
  • New database fields. 14 new data fields are now available for each frequency in the database.  Now you can track a frequency’s City & Country, Language, transmitter Power, and other info.
  • New database filters.  The Browse window now lets you filter your database up to 11 ways simultaneously.
  • A new Preferences window lets you set 37 rules of behavior for the Frequency Manager + Scanner.  You can now customize FM without resorting to manual editing and the risk of corrupting your SDR# installation.
  • Copy the current frequency to the clipboard does just that, so that you can paste it into documents or other software.
  • Monitor the clipboard for data that “looks like” a frequency.  Useful for copying frequencies from the web; when a frequency is seen on the clipboard SDR# tunes to the frequency immediately.
  • New plugin: Frequency Details.  This new plugin displays information about the currently tuned frequency if that frequency has a record in your database.
  • Frequency Rounding: monitoring HF frequencies or lower?  Tired of missing the center of the frequency by just that much when you click a frequency on the spectrum analyzer?  Use hot keys to automatically round the frequency up or down to the nearest step size.
  • Presets now contain the Frequency, Center, and Description of a frequency.  The saved Center value overrides other settings when a preset is clicked.

Scanner


  • High-resolution Scanning.  Prior versions of the scanner scanned only the range of the spectrum windows based on the FFT resolution.  This new scanner will look at every frequency in the spectrum window, regardless of the FFT resolution, if you so desire.  For example you can scan in low resolution and check only the frequencies in the FFT display’s resolution (e.g. 4096 Hz out of a 2.4 MHz block) or scan in high resolution and check the radio’s entire 2.4 MHz range.
  • New plugin: Scanner Decisions.  This new plugin displays activity by the scanner which allows you to see why (for example) the scanner didn’t stop on a frequency when you expected it to.  Unlike earlier versions of FM, the Scanner Decisions window and the new Scanner Decisions plugin are now designed to be in continuous use like any other plugin.

43 comments:

  1. Hi, where can I find detailed instructions about installation of dependencies? I tried to install this suite on a SDR# 1.0.0.1361 working installation and after a errorless installation, it gives me four error messages about sqlite3 and dbdataadaptor.getconnection3 when trying to start SDR#. After those errors, SDR# freezes completely.
    After that I tried reinstalling SDR# from scratch, it worked fine, then installed FMSuite again and again had the same errors and freeze. Then I tried the new dotnet 4.6 version of SDR#. Installed fine, and worked fine, until I tried the FMSuite for dotnet 4.6, which gave me the same error messages and freeeze.
    Seems Im missing something related to SQLite3 ?

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  2. Hi Norman. Unfortunately the switch by SDR# to .NET 4.6 has created a lot of confusion. You see these errors when there is a mismatch between the database DLL and the version of .NET that is installed. You already know that it requires .NET 4.6. The first thing to check is that you actually have .NET 4.6 installed; it is not installed automatically on any version of Windows prior to Windows 10. So if you are using Win 8.x or older you need to download and install .NET 4.6. There’s a link at the top of http://www.freqmgrsuite.com/ leading to the installer.

    If you are certain that .NET 4.6 is installed then the problem is likely that the wrong database DLL is installed. To check this, open the SDR# folder and find file System.Data.SQLite.DLL. Right-click that file and select the Properties tab in the window that appears. Check the File Version number - it should be 1.0.98.0. If it is an earlier version it will not be .NET 4.6-compatible. In this case I recommend you uninstall FM Suite, download it again, and run the installer from a folder where you have permissions to add and delete files (the installer creates and deletes temporary files in the folder where it resides).

    I hope this helps. If not please feel free to let me know. I will warn you that I will have limited email access starting Monday 9/28 but will get back to you when I can.

    Thank you for trying my software!
    Jeff

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    1. Hi Jeff! Thank you for your quick reply!
      I also tried to keep on the old versions side, and made a clean install of the last SDR# version (1.0.0.1361) that used the previous dotnet 3.5, and after making it work effortlessly, tried to install the also dotnet 3.5 previous version of FMSuite (2.0.5735). The behaviour was the same: Errors about SQLite3 and SDR# frozen up. Im running Windows 8.1pro. Do I need to install dotnet 3.5 on Windows 8.1 to run the old version of FMSuite?
      Thank you in advance!

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    2. Hi Norman. Yes, you need to install .NET 3.5 on Windows 8.1. Here's a link to download it.

      https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21

      Let me know how you get on. Thanks!

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    3. Hi Jeff, I forgot to update this. After installing the proper versions of .NET I was able to run the frequency manager suite with no problems. Thank you for such great tool for SWLing with SDR#!

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  3. Installed today. when I launch SDR#, I get this error (repeating about 4 times) "Error loading 'FMSuite.FreqMgr.FreqMgrPlugin,FMSuite.FreqMgr' - Could not load file or assembly 'FMSuite.FreqMgr' or one of it's dependencies. This assembly is built by a runtime newer than the currently loaded runtime and cannot be loaded."

    This looks like the kind of exception that would be thrown by an interpreter. Does this mean it's not compatible with my installed version of SDR# or something else?

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  4. Hello. This message occurs when the version of Microsoft .NET on your computer is older than the version with which the application was created. Starting with SDR# v1408, my plugins need .NET 4.6 for compatibility with SDR#. Unless you have Windows 10, that version of .NET is not automatically installed. You can download it from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48130

    Let me know if you have any other issues or questions. Thanks for trying my software.
    Jeff

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    1. I have the same Problems. Net version 4.6.01038. Dont work with all Plugins. It stops if i delete all plugins.

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    2. Hello Anonymous. Be sure you are using the latest version of the plugins; a recent change in SDR# caused the plugins to fail and I've accommodated that change in the current version 2.0.5822. Thanks for trying my software.
      Jeff

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  5. Could you help with this error message? Happens when loading sdr# and FMsuite. Thanks.

    "get_Hasgui does not have implementation"

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  6. Hi Unknown. You have a version compatibility mismatch between SDR# and the plugins. Version 2.0.5766 of the plugins require version 1408 or newer of SDR#, as stated in the Frequency Manager + Scanner documentation. So, download whichever you need - the latest SDR# or the latest plugins. Thanks for trying my software.
    Jeff

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    Replies
    1. Jeff, Thank you so much! The new SDR# is much easier to use too.

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  7. Hi. I am having trouble getting the scanner to scan. I have tried to setup everything properly and I am aiming to scan a group of frequencies. When I click on scan button, the buttons change as expected to stop, hold etc. But no frequencies are tuned. The receiver stays on the previous frequency and nothing is displayed on the scanner panel.

    I think this problem is related to another one; when I am browsing through frequencies on the list and double-click or click Send to radio, the receiver stays put as with scanner. I wonder how I can make this work?

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  8. Hello Unknown. Here's the way the scanner works when scanning groups:

    1. Every freq in the group that is in the current SDR# spectrum block is checked to see if its signal is above the Minimum Signal Strength. This is done in memory without tuning the radio; this is what makes the scanner so fast. If a freq is active, the radio is tuned to that frequency. If not, the scanner moves on to the next freq in the group and checks it for activity.

    2. If the scanner runs out of spectrum before it runs out of frequencies to check, the radio is tuned to the block of spectrum containing the next freq in the group. In this case you will see the radio's frequency change. Scanning resumes with all the group frequencies in the (new) current spectrum block getting checked. This step repeats until an active frequency is found.

    Here's what I think is happening to you: Every freq in your group is in the same SDR# spectrum block, and none of the freqs' signal strengths are above the Minimum Signal Strength that you defined. Either they aren't transmitting or your Minimum is set so high that none of them qualify. So the scanner will simply spin through the current spectrum block repeatedly searching for an active frequency.

    You can see this in action by dispaying Scanner Decisions. Click my Tools button, then click Edit Preferences. In the window that opens, click the Scan Rules tab. Put a checkmark in the Show Scanner Decisions checkbox. Click the OK button and start scanning.

    Each of your freqs will be listed in Scanner Decisions with either "scanned but not active" displayed or "tuned" followed by the description you have in the database for that frequency.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks for trying my software.
    Jeff

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  9. Hi Jeff, thanks for quick reply. I appreciate your help as I'd really would need this plugin to work.

    I am not sure that's what you described is going on here; first, my frequency groups (which I have tried scanning through) are both small and large. The large ones span from 500 khz to 18 Mhz. My receiver is Cloud-IQ and the sample rate is set to 48 ksps. So the SDR frequency span is narrow. I'd expect the radio to be jumping frequently. I wouldn't mind if it would jump slower, I don't need huge performance.

    So, I have "Show scanner decisions" turned on. The only message displayed is "Pausing 10 ms as is set in preferences" (I set that just to be on safe side). That message appears only once and nothing more happens.

    Also, selecting frequencies from browse window and double-clicking does not tune the radio. Nor selecting "Send to radio", neither does anything, the browse window just sits there.

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    1. Hmm. That definitely doesn't sound right. I don't have access to a Cloud-IQ to perform a complete local test, but if you would email your database to me at the address under Contact Me I will try it out on my system and see if I can spot any software problems.

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    2. I will do that in two minutes. I managed to get the scan do something more by doing following: tuned to first frequency in a group, the pressed scan. The scan decisions read:

      6,155,000 Pausing 10ms as set in Preferences
      6,155,000 Pausing 10ms as set in Preferences
      6,155,000 Pausing 10ms as set in Preferences
      ——————————————————————————————————— 583,000 -44dB tuned
      583,000 -44dB tuned
      583,000 Pausing 10ms as set in Preferences
      ——————————————————————————————————— 583,000 -50dB tuned
      583,000 Unidentified
      583,000 Pausing 10ms as set in Preferences
      ——————————————————————————————————— 583,000 -48dB tuned
      583,000 Unidentified
      583,000 Pausing 10ms as set in Preferences
      ——————————————————————————————————— 583,000 scanned but is not active
      583,000 skip button clicked
      2,230,000 Pausing 10ms as set in Preferences

      I'll send you the database now.

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    3. This issue was resolved off-line via email.

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    4. Hi .. great software and thanks for your work. I'm having a similar issue with v2.0.5888. Install was fine. On a Windows 8 machine, so I had to install .Net 4.6. Using SDRPlay. Set thresholds just above noise. Entered scan frequencies. When starting to scan, nothing in the Scanner Decisions window. No scan action, even when frequencies are active and above thresholds. Thanks!

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    5. Hi Anonymous. Firstly, be aware that SDR# does not fully support the SDRPlay radio. You can read more about that on the SDRPlay web site.

      Next, make sure that you have the SDRPlay Gain Control set to around 65db. Any less and you risk overloading the radio.

      You may also need to increase the Radio Settle Time value. This is in Tools > Edit Preferences > Scan Performance tab > Radio Settle Time. This value gives the radio more time to tune the radio - if the scanner is faster than the radio it will never stop on a busy frequency; this tells the scanner to chill a short while and give the radio a chance to catch up.

      I hope this helps. Thanks fro trying my software.
      Jeff

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  10. i cant find the download button where is it?

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  11. Hi. It's the link "Frequency manager Suite" in the upper right corner of the page, under the caption "Download Here". Thanks!

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  12. my plugins dont show up in sdr#

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  13. Hi. Can you please give me more info? What version of SDR#, which version of the plugins, which version of Windows, are there any error messages, etc. You can answer here or email at the address in the Contact Me section in the upper right of the page. Thanks.
    Jeff

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  14. Can't get this to work - it just hangs SDR# completely as soon as I click Scan. No errors, just a complete freeze. Running Windows 10 and using an SDRPlay. Any ideas? Thanks

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  15. Hi Ricci. Can you please tell me the version of SDR#, and the plugins you are using? I'll try to duplicate the problem and see what is going on. Thanks.
    Jeff

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  16. Hi, firstly, thanks for the hard work you must have put in to this program.

    I have a problem using scan-frequencies. No doubt I have missed something, but when I start a frequency scan,
    eg lower freq 165.000.000, upper freq 165.500.000, the frequency shown in SDR# starts at 165.000.000 then goes up in strange frequency steps, i.e. the first shown is 165.076.800, the next 165.153.600, and advances in similar multiples.I want to set the steps to 12.5kHz (the Snap to Grid is checked for 12.5)
    I am using SDR# v1.0.0.1430, but the same happens in v.1.0.0.1421. In your Add-on, in Tools, Scan Rules I have enabled 'Snap to Step Size'. I am using FMSuite v. 2.0.5822, on Windows 7.
    I just cannot see what I am doing wrong???
    Any assistance would be much appreciated.

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  17. Hi Marlbrook. Thanks for trying my software.

    The scanner doesn't tune by step sizes; "Snap to Step Size" is used only by SDR# to manage the spectrum display.

    The scanner searches by starting at your lower freq, then searching for any signal between that point and the last frequency displayed that is stronger than your Minimum Signal Strength. If none are found that are stronger than your Minimum Signal Strength, it advances the spectrum to the next block of frequencies as starts searching again. I think this is where you are seeing those odd frequencies. The scanner is not stopping there; it is telling SDR# to tune there in order to get a fresh batch of frequencies to examine. The new frequency will be equal to the last frequency currently displayed in the spectrum. If your radio bandwidth causes 165,076,800 to be the last one on the spectrum, the scanner tells SDR# to tune to that frequency so it can start search new spectrum from there.

    BTW the scanner asks for additional spectrum depending on the location of the SDR# red line on the spectrum. If the line is in the middle, only half the available bandwidth will be searched in one block. If it is all the way to the left end of the spectrum, then your radio's full searchable bandwidth will be searched in one gulp. That is how I get such good speed out of the scanner - search more frequencies, less often, by getting large chunks of spectrum from the radio.

    I hope this helps. Please let me know if you need anything more.
    Jeff

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  18. Hi i use sdr# 1.0.0.1430
    if i install FmSuite 2.0.5735 there is no error but
    in sdr# the scanner plugins dosent appear (same as the unknown user at Dec.8)
    dont know what to do
    i had .Net 4.6

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    1. Hello Nick. Please uninstall plugins 2.0.5735, then download and install 2.0.5822. There was a change in SDR# that caused the plugins to fail, and the plugins were altered to avoid that problem in the latest version.

      Thanks for trying my plugins.
      Jeff

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  19. 2.05822 helps
    now it works
    thanks for this great software

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  20. Version 2.0.5735 - ADWARE/AgentCV.A.34740

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  21. Thanks Unknown. Several anti-virus apps triggered false positives, among them Avast, AVC, Norton, and McAfee. This version and the ones just prior to it were approved by Microsoft Defender, MalwareBytes, and the hardware appliance Pulse Secure Intrusion-Prevention System.

    I changed the method of packaging the installer in Version 2.0.5822, so please use that as it is the newest version as of 11 Dec 2015. Thanks for trying my software.
    Jeff

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  22. nao consigo instalar o scanner

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    1. What problems happen? Are there any error messages? What versions of SDR# and the plugins are you using?

      Que problemas acontecer? Há alguma mensagem de erro? Quais versões do SDR # e os plugins que você está usando?

      Jeff

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  23. Frequency Manager + Scanner Plugin nao consihgo instalar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What problems happen? Are there any error messages? What versions of SDR# and the plugins are you using?

      Que problemas acontecer? Há alguma mensagem de erro? Quais versões do SDR # e os plugins que você está usando?

      Jeff

      Delete
  24. Hi

    When I add the FMS plugin to my SDR# version 1.0.0.1434, when I start up SDR#, I get a big error box that starts with Method Not Found 0 System.Arrya.Empty....etc..
    FMD does show up on the SDR# sidebar on the left, but it is greyed out

    Thanks in advance
    Todd

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    Replies
    1. This issue was resolved offline, and involved an incorrect version of .NET.

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  25. I have a problem with the scanner installed on SDRSHARP V.1450. I followed all the instructions but when I scan the memories saved in a group if there is activity on a memory scanning does not stop

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  26. Hello Antonio. This often happens due to two reasons. Firstly, the Squelch level may be set incorrectly. Your Squelch level should be set just below the average peaks of the frequencies you want to listen to. Active frequencies with a signal strength below this value will be ignored, and the scanner will stop on active frequencies at or above this value. You can watch this happen by opening the Scanner Decisions window or Scanner Decisions plugin from the Frequency Manager + Scanner Preferences dialog. It will tell you why the scanner didn't stop; for example your Squelch was set at -30db but the frequency's signal strength was at -54db.

    Secondly, your Radio Settle Time in Milliseconds may be set too low. SDR# doesn't tell us when the radio has been tuned to a frequency, so this control lets you adjust how long the scanner waits before giving up on a frequency. This setting is in thousands of a second, so setting too low means the scanner won't wait very long before moving on. Try setting this to 1000 milliseconds and see if that helps. If it does, start moving it downward a little at a time until you find the spot at which your radio has tuned to a frequency and the scanner recognizes that fact.

    I hope this helps. Thanks for trying my software.

    Jeff N8GJL

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    Replies
    1. I am not using squelch. The setting settle time radio is already in 1000. my noise floor is at -50dB, the setting minimum signal strength is -40db, the setting slow down scanning is 1500, the adjacent frequency rejection is 80%, the computer is an i5 with 16GB of RAM, but the scanner still does not stop

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  27. Hi Antonio. What does Scanner Decisions report when this happens? It will normally either tune the radio if the signal is strong enough, or report the detected signal strength when it is too low. Also, remember that you cannot see all of the frequencies in the spectrum - your monitor cannot display all of them (read the article in the User's Guide). If the scanner is stopping at the edge of a signal instead of on top of its center, the signal might appear to weak. Lastly, have you calibrated your radio against a known standard? If you have an inexpensive radio you might need to use the SDR# gear icon to calibrate the radio after tuning it to a known stable frequency.

    Let me know what happens, please. If you like you can write to me directly at the address in the Contact Me section on this page.

    Thanks,
    Jeff

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